Sunday, April 17, 2016

Property vs. Parental Rule

My theories of property were explicitly tested against these kinds of situations. I find it interesting to show how twisted up they are, and it's clear following my theories leads to much less twisted lifestyles.

Nevertheless, my mother guarded Soul Blazer with no small amount of jealousy such that for some time nobody played it. I do not begrudge her this, more out of an aversion to the spectacle of a thirty-three year old man being angry about the level of access he had to a video game more than twenty years prior than anything. And beyond that, what grounds would I have? The game was, in point of fact, hers. Any decision to restrict access to it was inherently justifiable, and any objection based on the perceived unfairness of this could reasonably be countered by declaring the exercise a life lesson of some sort.
It does bother me that progressives, immersed in sophism, will mix together separate topics even when they're not trying to beguile you. Less so now I've figured out how to centrifuge them out with some minimum elegance.

Nevertheless, my mother guarded Soul Blazer with no small amount of jealousy such that for some time nobody played it. [...] The game was, in point of fact, hers. Any decision to restrict access to it was inherently justifiable, and any objection based on the perceived unfairness of this could reasonably be countered by declaring the exercise a life lesson of some sort. [...]
What is striking about it in my memory is the inherent pointlessness of it - the fact that there was not actually any productive desire or motivation. Nobody actually wanted the game to sit shrink-wrapped for months.
Of course it's her right. It's rational, but meta-irrational.
Given that his mother did feel this jealousy or equivalent, guarding it was probably satisfying and thus the correct choice in the moment. However, it was a mistake to have let it be a correct decision so far into adulthood.

Basically she thought she needed to demonstrate control. (Or something. It varies.) To prove to herself that she could control her life and thus she would be able to deal with future disasters, and she was likely to lead a life with some minimum amount of satisfaction.

Keeping the shrink-wrap on is fundamentally cargo-cult control. Controlling a thing contested by nobody but a child proves nothing. Controlling the game could not be a means, only an end - her satisfaction was based on an illusion, unless she really loves shrink-wrapped SNES cartridges. It certainly didn't improve her relationship with her children, for example. It was a demonstration of how she was not in control, because the thing she was grasping and manipulating was not reality.

The solution to this is not to abrogate the rules of property. That causes more harm than good. In these cases, a kindly priest might offer some advice from the stool in the confessional, but beyond that there's no way to solve the irrationality but to let the fool continue in their folly till it teaches them otherwise.

Further, formalized property rights would have eased this insecurity. She would stop trying to control things she in fact has no control over, and would be able to take an accurate inventory of things she could control. Moreover, she would have had such an inventory long enough in advance to improve it were it deficient. E.g. she could have put certain housecare or childcare duties as papa Sandifer's in the marriage contract. (Even though she'd likely have got it wrong and ended up trading them away again.)

I do not begrudge her this, more out of an aversion to the spectacle of a thirty-three year old man being angry about the level of access he had to a video game more than twenty years prior than anything.
The child clearly resented it. This was predictable - the parent should have known it would cause resentment. The parent was in control. By combining control and knowledge, they are responsible for causing it. Was it needful? Did this act come from a place of kindness and maturity?

I'm not saying parents need to be perfect all the time. I do say that 'the best they could' appears to mean 'everything they did was always justified,' which is flatly ridiculous.

regarding the Super Nintendo itself, which had been a gift to me as surely as Soul Blazer had been to her. If she had attempted to play the game and I had responded by denying her access to the system on which to play it, the end result would have been the Super Nintendo being taken from me.  
Except everyone involved knows it wasn't a gift. Young Sandifer and mama Sandifer are both aware control continues to rest with mama Sandifer. 

It was a pretend gift. 

The rules of private property were ones that could only be used against me, as opposed to by me.
It is difficult not to see, in this, the seeds of later politics [...] my version of this resentment was directed outwards at the ruling class. Such are the engines of history.
It's not property's fault that his parents were part of a culture that lies about its gifts to its kids. And not his parents' fault they can't resist their enculturation. These lies do reliably lead to discrediting what the lies are about, though. 

Notably these lies were started, as far as I'm aware, by authoritarian right-culture parents, not left-culture parents. Left-cultural opposition to authority is hypocritical, so they find the lies useful. They especially like the part where we pretend everyone can equally own property. Not coincidentally, the result is semi-true believing socialists. 


Conditional gifts are not contrary to property rights, but the conditions need to be stated explicitly. In a sense, Sandifer clearly knew the conditions anyway, so they went without saying, but just as clearly we can see this leads to pathological thinking in the child, which, left untreated, leads to pathological adults. He attributes the wrongness of the informal/formal breach to property per se. He doesn't consciously recognize informal property as property, because as a child it was only the formal system that was called property. 

If you're not willing to explicitly state the conditions to your child's face, then you should be even more unwilling to enforce those conditions; it's a reliable sign that doing so is contrary to your explicit values. Most of the rest is knowing the kids will object to the conditions and having no answer to those objections.

If you feel the need to fool your kids with hypocritical rules, then at least don't wonder where all your authority went come adolescence.

or perhaps just seeds of a chronic inability to let things go.
Thing is these lies tend not to be one-off. If it was just the SNES, then it sounds like a grudge. However, this wink/nudge system would likely have extended to everything. It would be more surprising if it didn't have a negative effect.



Though more precisely, it was a gift in a sense that the SNES was bought knowing young Sandifer would be the primary beneficiary. Young Sandifer clearly didn't know this, and it's likely Sandifers senior would be unable to articulate it if asked. The correct words are roughly, "This is mine, but I bought it for you, enjoy." Though there is an issue where kids will start thinking it's theirs by adverse possession if the parent never use it themselves.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hypothetical Unified Theory of Cuckservatism

Proggies are post-theist Christians, meaning they have an all-important axis of good/evil, but don't want to admit they believe in good/evil - they're apparently-nihilist crypto-moralists. Thus it was mapped to politics, namely left/right.

I'm not exactly the first to note that s/Satan/Hitler/g. Hagiographic Hitler defines 100% rightism.

But what does this mean for Republicants? They don't deny they're on the right - that they're like Hitler. Hence their continuing defeats. Vote for not-evil, duh.

But why not? Why would anyone willingly admit/imply they're Hitleresque, at least less un-Satanic than their enemies?

This ties into a seemingly separate question: why do Republicants accept such a tiny fraction of the monetary rewards that Demobrats get? Why not convert to Demobracy?

The answer is guilt. They feel particularly holy when flagellated. Republicants, fundamentally, think they win in the next life by abasing themselves in this life. They loudly admit their wickedness so as to demand to be punished for it. Demobrats are delighted to self-righteously provide the shaming they so crave.

This is also why Republicants are so ashamed of their voters, and so tentative when they do gain office. Their voters vote for them unironically! Such sin!

Also ties into 'no enemies to the left.' Obviously, someone gooder than you isn't your enemy, and everyone more sinful than you is to be despised. If the gooder ones decide to throw you under a bus, well that can't possibly be from self-interest, it must be for the greater good.

When Walker Bush wins an election, it's as a slave running against his master. "Oh master, you have become decadent. Reflect on your failings and return to nobility." And the master reflected, summoning from within himself Obama. There was much rejoicing, and Populi saw it was Left. Not only POTUS, but the voters would be redeemed from sin rightism.

But now Trump's here to ruin the game.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Social Justice War, Very Short History

Some free-wheeling folk converge on Tumblr, and start calling themselves warriors for social justice.
This spills beyond Tumbr.

Their behaviour, though effective, is so abhorrent that SJW immediately becomes a term of abuse.

SJWs try to backpedal from the name and get on the euphemism treadmill, but their antics keep them in the spotlight, so nobody forgets. They can't help themselves. They constantly deny that they use the tactics they in fact use, but can't even coordinate enough to produce a lull to let the backlash subside a bit.

Vox Day instigates a list naming SJWs as SJWs, where inclusion requires they perform the kind of actions they openly call for.

Social Justice Warriors initiate plan: losing their minds.

Sophists everywhere are terrified of anyone calling a spade a spade. Their tactics are effective in the short term.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

What Reality Is

What is is-ness per se?
He has argued that we must decouple what we observe from whatever underlying reality may be generating those observations. In other words, there are (at least) two levels of reality: One consists of the rules and regularities of the physical world, which science can access and measure. But the other level, the ultimate source of those rules and regulations, science can never even access, much less come to know.
Delightfully succinct. (Via.) I remember when I used to think the same thing.

Problem: the 'underlying' reality is Russel's teapot. If science cannot access it, then it cannot be accessed. Its properties cannot be described, and it does not affect predictions. It does not, in fact, exist. While there is clearly a metaphorical external world, some objective truths that don't go away if ye stop believing in them, it is not at all clear that there's a literal external world. The solution to Kant's noumenon/phenomenon split is to remove the noumenon, leaving only curiously consistent phenomena.

There is no underlying reality. The observations constitute reality. If they arise from anything, they arise from each other.

To digress, it is possible to observe a multiverse via logic. Scientists are thinking there is one because they believe it's logically necessary from the rules they've observed. This isn't genuinely good enough, because there are still alternatives. Rather it's the well-known scentific bonus arrogance about whatever model happens to be in fashion.

Inequality vs. Morality

It is great that women are what they are and men are what they are, otherwise I would have an absolutely terrible sex life.
Can't change just one thing. Were wereman/wifman relations different, you would be different in unpredictable ways.

In fact there are several animals with superior kinds of mating pacts. It is probable even other human subspecies had better mating pacts.

It is good that men should lead, and women should follow.
Alternatively, children could not require both parents to trigger all the environmental development cues. However, as it is, someone needs to lead. It probably does need to be the more expendable gender.

It is great that whites are superior to all brown and black races in intelligence and prosocial conduct.
Depends. If the playing field can be levelled upward, then no. Otherwise, the alternative is not that browner races are more competent, but that paler races are less competent, which would be clearly inferior.

East Asian men are not all that overrepresented among competent engineers relative to white men, whereas east Asian women are way overrepresented among competent engineers relative to white women. 
Korean video gaming shows Korean men having markedly higher reaction times than white men. Reaction time strongly correlates with IQ.

However, they lack creativity and/or independent thinking. E.g. white hobbits learn from the Fall of Rome. E.g. the average person knows seizing power through force is to usurp, which is why Western armies don't take over Western countries, but the Chinese have not learned from China's bicentennial civil wars. E.g. Chip fabs are largely Chinese these days, but chip fab designers, even in China, are almost all white. E.g, this guy.

When I say white men are naturally more manly, manliness reflects both environment and racial nature. Prewar Japanese were the most manly of men, postwar Japanese among the least manly of men.
There's an inverse relationship between racial IQ and baseline testosterone for both genders. The most feminine women are asian, the most masculine men are black. This is why if you have the races of a miscegenating couple, you can almost always guess the genders.


That said, nerds have solved manliness. The thing to do now is give engaged men manliness classes under the term 'how to keep your woman.' Do that and could probably leave divorce as no-fault. Not a great idea, but it would be good enough.

It is great that white males are better warriors than east Asian males, regardless of whether east Asian males might be slightly smarter. 
Again, it matters whether the alternative is levelling up or levelling down.


Is it great that whites are prone to using and being used by sanctimonious moralizing?

Is it great that whites take words so lightly it's almost impossible to have a frank conversation?

Is it great that whites will work so hard they effectively flee their own family and community?

Is it great that whites are reliably ashamed of using violence to defend themselves?

Is it great that whites are so 'altruistic' that they can't tell the difference between being kind to strangers and enabling terrorists?

Is it great that whites are so individually proud they can be easily flattered, and find it all but impossible to acknowledge their betters as better?

We should love what we are, rather than conceding that the left is morally superior for wishing reality away.
Thing is, morality don't real. They can't be morally better because there's nothing there to be better at. Or worse, for that matter.

This means there's little difference between preferring your own race and having goodwill for all races.

On the other hand, progressives refuse to cooperate with most whites, meaning it's imprudent to cooperate with progressives while being white. Progressivism only continues to live because these other whites don't cut them off. Apparently due to a combination of pride and vulnerability to hysterical moralizing.



Let's see if I can guess this post's URL: http://alrenous.blogspot.com/2016/04/inequality-vs-morality.html

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Taleb Strays From His Expertise: Persowning

Hint: no.

Let's fisk and see if there's any coherence at the end.

I hadn't heard of gyrovagues and they do sound kind of cool. Useless, though. Seem just as pointless destructively as productively. If it works for them, then good on them, but I wouldn't give them anything that wasn't going to waste if I didn't.

In the West, Saint Benedict of Nurcia, their greatest detractor,
[Citation needed]. Sorry, don't trust him. Seems like this is now a hit piece on Benedict. As far as I'm aware, nobody forces you to be a monk, so Benedict's rules should be judged entirely by how well they serve monasticism. Given its longevity, it seems to work well.

In the West, Saint Benedict of Nurcia, their greatest detractor,
[Relevance needed].

Why were they banned? They were, simply, totally free. [...] 
Complete freedom is the last thing you would want if you have an organized religion to run.  Total freedom is also a very, very bad thing for you if you have a firm to run
Respect status: total loss.

Let's just take it for granted that continuing to work for me is irrational, so I'm going to have to chain anyone who makes the mistake of accepting my job offers. This is how I build a healthy institution.
I wonder if this will have any relevance to Benedict. Did he want to fence in monks who desired to return to the wider community?
I chain my employees down if and only if I'm afraid of Gnon's judgement, meaning I already know I'm judged guilty but want to put off the reckoning. Gnon's interest rates are not exactly generous. If I'm building a strong institution, I make it as easy as possible for my folk to leave, so it's necessary to create conditions such that they demand to stay.

And of course monks are put through a probation period of one year to see if they are effectively obedient.
Shocking news: obedience is good for some people. Quite a few, in fact.

In short, every organization wants a certain number of people associated with it to be deprived of a certain share of their freedom.
[Precision needed]. So vague he might mean something non-stupid. Namely, that I do in fact trade certain behaviour concessions in exchange for offering a wage.
How do you own these people? First, by conditioning and psychological manipulation; second by tweaking them to have some skin in the game, forcing them to have something significant to lose if they were to disobey authority –something hard to do with gyrovague beggars who flaunted scorn of material possessions. In the orders of the mafia, things are simple: made men (that is, ordained) can be wacked if the capo suspects lack of allegiance, with a transitory stay in the trunk of a car –and a guaranteed presence of the boss at their funerals. For others professions, skin in the game come in more subtle form.
[Precision needed]. I too can spout some generalities, promising description later, then change the subject and forget. I don't get published for doing so, though, because I want my words to have value, not my name.

Also, I strongly object to equating having something intentionally destroyed with losing something. That's deterrence, not skin in the game. Skin in the game is risk/reward as opposed to no risk/reward, not status quo/risk.

You are a very modern person, having attended many conferences and spoken to consultants, you believe the company is a thing of the past: everything can be organized through a web of contractors. It is more efficient to do so, you are certain.
Looks like I'm very modern, guys. All hip and shit.

The Sheikh and his retinue fell in love with Bob’s manners
This of course happens all the time. 10% of pilots took off time for Sheikh-related reasons last year. Which is why the airline planned for it happening, it being forseeable.
For this to work for Taleb, it has to be a complete surprise to the airline. The risk is uninsurable only because it's unforseeable.
The offer is so generous that it covers whatever penalty there is for a breach of a competing contract by Bob.
Normal firms of course routinely see defect bonuses well in excess of the prescribed penalties, which is why they set the penalties so low. They're stupid, you see. So very stupid.
You kick yourself.
But perhaps not for the reason Taleb wants me to.
Consider the chain reaction: if your plane doesn’t take off,
But don't consider it too far, or you might realize that a non-puppet human being can see this coming just as Taleb can, and not hopelessly let it happen.
Or alternatively, the reason it's good to give examples is it frequently reveals that what you're saying makes no sense. I suggest not forging ahead regardless, however. Did Taleb get paid for this?
You make a few phone calls and it turns out that it is easier to find an academic economist with common sense and ability to understand what’s going on than find another pilot, that is, an event of probability zero.
So we have a world, according to Taleb, where pilots regularly get poached, but the probability of anyone planning for these poachings is literally zero.

Alternatively, he believes these poachings don't happen because employers dealt with it by 'owning' all the pilots.
You start thinking: well, you know, if Bob were a slave, someone you own, you know, these kind of things would not be possible.
Me in particular? No, I start thinking like a sports league and maintain a bench for spare pilots to chill.
Contractors are too free; they fear only the law. 
And you see, the law can't apply arbitrary penalties. The penalties, by assumption too low to deter pilot Bob, can't be raised. That's just impossible.
But employees have a reputation to protect.
Contractors, not being protected (rightly or wrongly) by EEOC regulations, of course never have to worry about their reputation. Being unable to sue for wrongful dismissal and thereby apply penalties, makes them much safer.
And they can be fired.
It is of course illegal to put non-performance clauses in non-employee contracts.
Lovers of paychecks are lazy … but they would never let you down at times like these.
When I'm hiring for my strong firm, I definitely want someone who chronically lets me down rather than someone who only lets me down on a weird fluke.
 So employees exist because they have significant skin in the game
[Citation needed]. [Buzzword detected]. Buzzphrase, more precisely.
a penalty for acts of undependability, such as failing to show up on time.
Taleb repeats so I must repeat: it is of course illegal to put on-time requirements in contracts. I bet, like sexuality and motherhood status and voting pattern, it's illegal to even ask about punctuality during a contract negotiation and hope they're honest with you.

People of some means have a country house, which is inefficient compared to hotels or rentals, because they want to make sure it is available if they decide they wanted to use it at a whim.
You will almost never have an issue going to a hotel on a whim. If you're allowed to demand of it, the market provides. You will have difficulty decorating your hotel exactly to your liking, however. Moreover, inhabiting a place that's yours feels different than inhabiting a temporary place. Perhaps Taleb has difficulty appreciating that things can have subjective differences, and those subjective impressions can be valuable.
By having been employees they signal a certain type of domestication.
Oh boy we might be getting to the point.
This is true, but this isn't 'how to own someone' this is 'how to find someone who has been trained to seek ownership.'
Evidence of submission is displayed by having gone through years of the ritual of depriving himself of his personal freedom for nine hours every day, punctual arrival at an office, denying himself his own schedule, and not having beaten up anyone. You have an obedient, housebroken dog.
Speaking of subjective goods, submission is not economically efficient. Even if I accept that contractors are riskier, then I will find that the risk premium is exceeded by cost and competence savings. Employers want submissive employees because it makes their genes think they're more likely to get laid if they have underlings, resulting in happy tingles.

At the time of writing, firms stay in the top league by size (the so-called SP500) only about between ten and fifteen years. Companies exit the SP500 through mergers or by shrinking their business, both conditions leading to layoffs. Throughout the twentieth century, however, expected duration was more than sixty years.
As the economy grows, economic transitions accelerate. Wanna bet Taleb assumes all is held equal?
But the technological revolution that took place in Silicon valley put traditional companies under financial threat.
As the economy grows, revolutions occur more frequently, as there are more economic actors with more money, thus many more opportunities for revolutions.
A company man is someone who feels that he has something huge to lose if he doesn’t behave as a company man –that is, he has skin in the game
A company man is someone who feels he has skin in the game, regardless of his actual exposure?
For him contracts can be too costly to negotiate, they entail some amount of transaction costs, so you incorporate your business and hire employees with clear job description because you don’t feel like running legal and organizational bills every transaction.
If Coase in fact thought this, as opposed to Taleb projecting it onto him, then Coase does not deserve Taleb's praise. Shocking news: employee contracts are contracts. They're simply long-term contracts.

It is of course illegal...etc etc make long term contracts with non-employees.
A free market is a place where forces act to determine specialization and information travels via price point; but within a firm these market forces are lifted because they cost more to run than the benefits they bring.
[Citation needed]. When companies do something economically puzzling, 99.9% of the time it's because of regulations. Maybe it really is illegal to have certain kinds of contracts, making employees the only option.
Why? Because you can inflict a much higher punishment on a slave than a free person or a freedman –and you do not need to rely on the mechanism of the law for that.
It genuinely is illegal to self-serve certain legal remedies, even when it's more efficient. I advocate retroactive validation. Go to a magistrate, say, "I'd like to whip my treasurer," and if you have the right contract, the magistrate automatically says yes, later checks into it anyway, and applies punishments if it doesn't check out. If an otherwise upstanding citizen shoots a bastard, assume they were in the right and let them go - but also double-check, to be sure, and haul them back if necessary.

Taleb appears to think it's impossible for the law to change its mind about allowing whipping etc. Or lacks imagination?
In a world in which products are increasingly made by subcontractors with increasing degrees of specialization,
"In a world that has increasingly figured out how to get around braindead self-serving regulations that made employeeship necessary..."

The best slave is someone you overpay and who knows it, terrified of losing his status.
Should work, yeah. Except, to say everyone is overpaid is merely a mistake. Market prices are relative.
Returning to the home office means loss of perks, having to revert to the unchanged base salary, and the person is now a total slave –a return to lower middle class life in the suburbs of New York City taking the commuter train, perhaps, god forbid, a bus, and eating a sandwich for lunch!
Yes, those with short time horizons are easily hackable. The only issue is how common short time horizons is. ProTip: when playing chess, think more than zero moves ahead. In life, thinking of your next move is harder due to the increased complexity, so humans tend to shirk it even more, making them easy prey for those like me with the capacity to think two moves ahead or more.

He could protect himself by admitting his vulnerability and attaching himself to a formal sponsor, who would think ahead for him. But since this is necessarily admitting his follower status and injurious to his pride, he traps himself into an even more injurious situation.

Firms had a love-hate with these two types as they were unruly –traders and salespeople were only manageable when they were unprofitable, in which case they weren’t wanted.
This seems to be genuine ideological or cultural retardation. Firms have a love-hate relationship with the only employees that are truly valuable? Stupid. Abysmally stupid.

On the contrary, rather than wanting to replace these ones, firms should be firing everyone else constantly. (I would handle it differently, but one step at a time.) HR - real HR, not deal-with-gov-regs-HR - should be trying to justify the presence of every employee round-robin, and if they can't, find out how necessary they are by firing them. Constantly clear cruft, or it will build up and choke your firm. Alternatively, feed a forest-fire analogue like excess undergrowth.

That’s the price you pay by associating people to a specific P/L, turning individuals into profit centers, meaning no other criterion mattered.
That's the price of mixing feel-good maybe-necessary employee type people with the actual production floor. The same thing happens if you try to make engineering and HR get along. Everyone who has real work to do hates admin.

(intimating that the accounting did not add to the bottom line of the firm)
They don't. 99% of what they do is keeping the government off the firm's back. It's not meet to blame the accountant for this, though.

However, it's pretty hard to correctly match the number of accountants to the hours of accounting that need to be done. Being as it's a survival issue, it's best to have too many than too few, meaning accountants spend a lot of time getting paid to browse the web.

Meaning it's better to subcontract, as a large accounting firm can average out the vagaries of individual firms and end up with much less waste.

the people you meet when riding high are also those you meet when riding low and I saw the fellow getting some (more subtle) abuse from the same accountant before he got fired, as he eventually ran out of luck.
So the one example Taleb can conjure is a producer who was likely unproductive? Yes, I've also noticed unproductive persons tend also to be rude. Probably insecurity. Secure folk can psychologically afford to be magnanimous.
If you were profitable you could give managers all the crap you wanted and they ate it because they were afraid of losing their jobs.
Another probable malignancy. Punishing folk for things beyond their control only decreases morale, literally the most important resource to any group. However, it makes the higher managers feel like they can control it, so they do it anyway. Much prefer monkey shit-flinging to studying risk management, and do you blame them? Their subordinates enable them by not quitting. Their stockholders don't demand audits. Their customers are mainly looking for the bigger sucker, and don't need real service.

Those who use foul language on social networks (such as Twitter) are sending an expensive signal that they are free –and, ironically, competent.
As above, when I'm building a strong firm, I obviously want all the incompetent people so they don't challenge my authoritah. Luckily, I have no ability to tell rudeness from swearing, so you can be rude without swearing and I won't notice a thing.

ironically the highest status, that of free-man, is usually indicated by voluntarily adopting the mores of the lowest class.
Taleb hasn't heard of counter-signalling?

Loss Aversion
Is rational, so piss off.
Ironically, in my debates, I’ve seen numerous winners of the so-called Nobel in Economics (the Riksbank Prize in Honor of Alfred Nobel) concerned about losing an argument. I noticed years ago that four of them were actually concerned when me, a nonperson and trader, called them publicly a fraud. Why did they care?
I do have to admit that distinguishing loss from a not-loss seems to be an uncommon skill. I frequently abuse the separation between loss and perceived loss for trolling.

"Yeah? What can you not do today that you could do yesterday? What exactly did I cause you to lose?" Yes, I do this to their face. Online I can't make them squirm - they realize they lost so they disengage. In person they get stuck between admitting they were wrong and groping around for some lame sophistry.

You would think that the head of the CIA would be the most powerful person in America, but it turned out that he was more vulnerable than a truck driver… The fellow couldn’t even have an extramarital relationship.
I remember when I used to think that. Almost a decade ago now. Is Taleb way behind the curve or am I some sort of visionary genius?
I decided to deliberately train wisdom. It worked. However, it's very hard constantly seeing those older and supposedly more professional than I am being more foolish than I. I have been in the market for a mentor, but unfortunately mentors need to know more than I do, not less.



...and then I got bored. It became clear Taleb was never going to get to the point. Apparently, to own a  person, first have some cash flow, then find a person who is scared to not be owned and then don't reject them. Given he supposedly wrote a whole article about it, you'd think there would be more to it than some failures to test abstract ideas against concrete reality.

No, Benedict never returned. He wanted to status posture, and being anti-Christian isn't as dangerous as being, say, Mencius Moldbug.

Who knows if Taleb knows whether economic growth accelerates economic change? All I know is it apparently accelerates Taleb changing the subject. We might all have ADHD because Prussian school trains it, but also because we have follow nonsense like this.

I'm not seeing any coherent theme here. Taleb willfully misrepresents some things, then insults employees a few times (if probably rightly, also probably from Prussian school), then misapprehends certain corporate pathologies as Just the Way the World Is. Also almost everything he said is either wrong or meaningless. Very little metal in this ore.

Still, not zero. Perhaps firms want to keep wages secret so they can keep everyone thinking they're overpaid? It's not completely impossible, although it has to explain why so many complain about being underpaid, in that case. Maybe there's some industry localization? E.g. when you pay minimum wage it's hard for not everyone to know what you're paying, then the sex-obsessed murder monkeys get the clever idea that if they all complain about being underpaid, their boss might actually get fooled into thinking they're underpaid.

(Though in fact McDonald's employees were underpaid until recently, as measured by turnover and customer service: they were shooting themselves in the foot. There's that angle too.)

More metal: gyrovagues. Ironic that Taleb dances through such a vague essay that starts with such a name. Regardless, I now know they exist and can look them up. That said I'm beginning to think Taleb hates journalist bullshit due to the competition, not because he hates bullshit like I do.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stupidity is a Crime

In a social species, stupidity is necessarily damaging to others.

The point of a social species is to exploit the gains from cooperation. These are so powerful that social species can totally dominate nonsocial species, with the result that most reproductive threats will come internally, not externally. External reality is dominated by the subset social reality.

Cooperation means talking, which means influencing others, and the cooperation means this influence is more important for resource allocation than any other factor. The influence of the stupid is necessarily a net loss.

The primary example is that people like me can convince the stupid to serve my interests instead of their friends' interests. In extremis I can whip up an army of stupid people and kill other, more responsible, non-stupid people, at little risk to myself and at great risk to the stupid person's friends. Even assuming these friends aren't as stupid, they made a mistake investing in friendship with an idiot.

Being stupid is a crime. To be stupid is to defect against society. It's not their fault, but nevertheless they must be punished and excluded for society - the social cooperation unit - to be healthy. For example, by being enserfed and disenfranchised.


Notably I think since public choice theory is true, eugenics is impossible. However, serfdom could be a requirement for welfare - when the truly stupid risk starvation due to their stupidity, they will willingly trade their freedom for their life. This would formalize the command relationship between the intelligent and the stupid, meaning society can easily trace the true responsibility and hold the responsible accountable. Alternatively, the idiots starve and stop being a problem.

In modern times, formalizing the command relationship is gauche, because fashion flows from the elite, and the elite have realized they can evade responsibility by discouraging the hobbits from letting commands be formalized. Women love it too - nothing more dominant than evading accountability and thumbing your nose at your victim/followers.


This is one of those times it would be pretty cool if someone proved me wrong.